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Elk County Catholic High School held its annual Fall Athletic Awards program on Wednesday evening in the high school auditorium to honor the school's numerous fall sports athletes.
According to Athletic Director Aaron Straub, 189 of the 272 students in grades 9-12 at ECC participated in a fall sport this year. Along with this, there were also numerous 7th and 8th grade students from the St. Marys Catholic Middle School who also contributed to the success of the school's sports teams this fall.
Following Straub's remarks, Fr. Ross Miceli gave the invocation, ECCHS Athletic Association President Chris Schneider offered a welcome, and Principal Sandy Florig provided an overview of the evening's program.
Florig also shared some statistics of her own, noting that all of the student athletes received their report cards last weekend. According to Florig, for the first quarter, 136 students, out of the 272 at the school, received first honors. 93 of those students, which is about 68 percent of the total, were student athletes. Additionally, 71 students earned second honors, of which 47 were student athletes.
The first students to be honored were the three- and four-year letter winners. Three-year letter certificates were presented to boys' soccer players Tyler Anzinger, Ben Cappiello, Sam Mosebarger, and Mitchell O'Neill; girls' soccer players Michelle Imbrogno and Morgan Onink; golfers Bruno Cavalline, Bryan Haberberger and Kristy Hanes; tennis player Kathryn Ordiway; volleyball player Taylor Schlimm; and football players Cole Gerber and Cory Williams. Four-year letter plaques were presented to boys' soccer players Jake Herbstritt and Ben Wortman; girls' soccer players Abbi Petrosky and Jena Struble; cross country runners Joe Hoffman, Caleb Lecker, Hannah Pontzer and Maggie Sorg; and tennis players Loreal Housler and Abby Meyer.
The first coach to address the attendees was junior high girls' basketball coach Jen Greenthaner. She noted that the 8th grade Lady Crusaders completed their season with an 8-12 record and finished second in their tip-off tournament this year. Members of the 8th grade squad were Mackenzie Gahr, Abbey Gerg, Sydney Hoffman, Mary Kraus, Emily O'Neill, Sarah Pistner, Elise Stebick, Sophia Viglione and Hannah Wittman. According to Greenthaner, the 7th grade Lady Crusaders finished their season with a record of 14-6 and also took second place in the St. Marys Area 7th Grade Tournament. Members of the team were Cassidy Cunningham, Kara Detsch, Emily Evers, Jordyn Fox, Reilly Herzing and Lauryn Wortman.
"Both of these teams are a good group of girls that have a bright future in their high school careers," Greenthaner said.
Next on the program was assistant boys' soccer coach T.J. Weaver. He noted that the team finished the season with a record of 12-6-1, having made it into the District 9 playoffs as the third seed. Even though the squad lost to Brookville in the first round in a well-fought game, Weaver remarked that "it was the best game of the season for us."
"The only problem with our season this year was never once did we have our full starting lineup on the field. We had so many injuries and that really hurt us throughout the year," Weaver said.
Letters were presented to freshmen Ian Herzing and Aaron Meier; sophomores Joey Ferragine, Ben Herbstritt, Corey Huff, Matt Jerko, Corey Koss, and Adam Lovenduski; juniors Mitchell Gahr, Mitchell O'Neill, and Peter Pontzer; and seniors Tyler Anzinger, Ben Cappiello, Andrew Cotter, Jacob Herbstritt, Daniel Johnson, Mike Lovenduski, Sam Mosebarger, and Ben Wortman. Other members of the squad were freshmen Nathan Koss, Austin Minard and Ryan Seelye; and sophomores Ben Cheatle, Sebastian Dilley, and Dylan Hodgdon. Coaches awards were presented to seniors Ben Cappiello and Jake Herbstritt.
Girls' soccer coach Don Fabiano was next to address attendees, remarking that he believed a lot of people wrote the team off after the first month of the season.
"Injuries had hit five or six of our starters on a team that only had 17 players, and eight of those players had never played varsity soccer before and seven of our starters were either freshmen or sophomores. Our overall record early in the season was a rather dismal three wins, six losses and a tie," Fabiano said. "But a funny thing happened as we went into the month of October: injuries healed, young players started to blossom, and the team finished out the season with a tremendous run of six wins, only one loss and one tie. The tie came against Curwensville, one of only eight Class A teams left in the State playoffs. The streak also included a record team-tying five straight shutouts."
Letters were presented to freshmen Marissa Heary, Hannah Onink, Erin Petrosky, Julia Sweeney, and Samantha Zimmerman; sophomores Michaela Cashmer, Emma Daghir, and Jordan Lenox; juniors Kendra Dornisch, Michelle Imbrogno, and Morgan Onink; and seniors Jessica Franco, Kathleen Kneidel, Abbi Petrosky and Jena Struble. Other members of the team were freshman Meaghan Coppolo and junior Stephanie Zimmerman. Coaches awards were presented to seniors Abbi Petrosky and Jena Struble.
Junior high soccer coach Theresa Steudler spoke briefly about her team's season and some of their more memorable accomplishments. Members of the eighth grade squad were Madeline Aiello, Grace Bobby, Joel Brennen, Jacob Chileski, Dominic Cristini, Brant Dornisch, Benjamin Hoffman, Patrick Hoffman, Jenna Labant, Elric Lavelle, Ashley Lenze, Anthony Pollick and Jack Wolfe. 7th grade players were Charlie Bobby, Joshua Chileski, Vincent Cristini, Luke Ferragine, Madeline Gresco, Benjamin Koss, John Mader, Joseph Messineo, Emily Prencipe, Frank Singer, Andrew Wingard and Zachary Wortman.
Assistant cheerleading coaches Becky Mahoney and Franchesca Stubber discussed the varsity and junior high cheerleading squads.
"In addition to cheering at all the varsity football games this year, the girls did a few things to raise the general spirit of the school. They made signs and hung them up at the bonfire for all the fall sports teams. They planned a successful spirit week and homecoming pep rally, and they also were secret cheerleaders for our senior football players in the week leading up to senior night," Stubber said.
Letter winners were seniors Marissa Armstrong, Sarah Bobenreith and Sara Kucenski. Other members of the squad were senior Lindsey Gardner; junior Katie Pearson; and sophomores Sophia Assalone, Emily Bush, Alexandra Imbrogno and Leah Kucenski. The coaches award was presented to senior Sara Kucenski and the leadership award was given to senior Marissa Armstrong.
Members of the junior high squad were seventh graders Morgan Renwick, Marlee Schaut and Ramsey Struble; eighth graders Lauren Brennen, Emily Kamats and Autumn Vollmer; and ninth graders Shaina Gorman, Ellie Pearson, Hannah Schneider and Madison Stoltz.
Head junior varsity volleyball coach Stacey Brem offered remarks on both the junior varsity and varsity squads' seasons.
Speaking on behalf of head varsity coach Diane Gies, Brem remarked that the team finished the season with a regular season record of 11-3 and overall season record of 12-4. The squad won the Union and Sheffield Tournaments and defeated Keystone in the first round of the District 9 Class A playoffs before falling to Clarion in a close match in the second round.
Letter winners were seniors Helen Danz, Lexie Meholic and Taylor Schlimm; juniors Taylor DaCanal and Jessica Ginther; sophomores Hayley DaCanal, Carli Schneider and Anna VanEerden; and freshman Kirstie Wehler. Other members of the squad were juniors Marisa Cunningham, Sadie Viglione and Kayla Weis. The coaches award was presented to senior Helen Danz. The award for most improved player was given to senior Taylor Schlimm, and the award for most valuable player, along with a plaque honoring her school record of 1,000 career kills, was given to senior Lexie Meholic.
Members of the junior varsity squad were sophomores Chiara Genevro and Camille Smithbauer; and freshmen Abbey Bauer, Renee Buchheit, Felicia DePrator, Kylee Kline, Sierra Meyer, Jolene Renwick, Madeline Schneider, Nicole Schneider, Ashley Schwabenbauer, Sydnie Stauffer, Jessica Tettis and Sophia Yanak.
Next, coach WeeJ Fernan talked about the girls and boys successful cross country seasons.
"We experienced a 12-2 girls' record and an 11-2 guys' record. The girls had first place finishes at the Ridgway and Bradford Invitationals. The boys had first place finishes at the Bradford and Rocky Grove Invitationals. The girls won the blue ribbon at the District Championship and the boys won the red. The teams also placed 11th and 17th at the State [meet]," Fernan said.
Letter winners for the girls' squad were seniors Hannah Pontzer and Maggie Sorg; juniors Kylee Proudfit and Cassandra Thompson; sophomores Maria Scacchitti and Kennedy Weisner; and freshmen Victoria Dippold, Madlyn Ehrensberger, Nicole Florio and Allison Prokop. Also on the squad was junior Kaitlin O'Hara.
Letter winners for the boys' squad were seniors Peter Cooney, Joe Hoffman, Ryan Jacobs and Caleb Lecker; junior Ryan Detsch; and freshmen Drew Bille and Lucas Knight. Other members of the squad were senior Lorenzo Dingcong and freshmen Luke Hoffman and John Kaul.
The persevering runner award was presented to senior Hannah Pontzer and the competering runner award was given to senior Maggie Sorg. Courageous runner awards were presented to Caleb Lecker and Joe Hoffman. For the second year in a row, the Lee Foster Memorial Award was given to sophomore Kennedy Weisner, who finished second overall in girls' Class AA race at the PIAA state meet in Hershey.
Fernan also briefly discussed the junior high cross country season. Members of the junior high squad were eighth graders Scott Brazinski, Joshua Gleixner and Duncan LaValle, and seventh graders Vincent Thompson, Ben Troy and Ben Uberti.
First year golf coach George Schneider reflected on his team's season, noting that the squad finished the year 8-2 in the Allegheny Mountain League.
"We finished first in the Allegheny Mountain League North Division; however, we lost to Punxsutawney in the AML Championship game," Schneider said. "Some other highlights of the season included we won the St. Marys/DuBois Challenge held at the DuBois Country Club. We won the DuBois Central Catholic Invitational held at the Treasure Lake Golf Course. We placed second at the Bradford Invitational and we also placed eight at the Sunnehanna Invitational, which gets us an automatic invite back next year."
Letter winners were seniors Bryan Haberberger, Kevin Kronenwetter and Alex Renwick; juniors Bruno Cavalline and Kristy Hanes; sophomores Jess Jaynes, Brandon Schlimm and Elliott Struble; and freshmen Drew Meyer and Mitchell Struble. Other members of the team were juniors Scott Reichard, Garrett Reuscher and Jacob Whiteman; sophomores Troy Caskey, Michael Dippold, Andrew Gerber, Vincent Jacob, Colton Lecker, and Ben Reuscher; and freshmen Alan Brennen and Andrew Smith. The coaches award was presented to junior Kristy Hanes and the MVP award was presented to sophomore Elliott Struble.
Girls' tennis coach Pete Meier remarked that there were "26 incredibly nice girls on the team this year" and finished with a record of 7-6.
"We won two thirds of our individual matches and we won our 11th District 9 Championship," Meier said. "We played very well in the first round of the State playoffs and we had an amazing trip to Hershey for the doubles tournament."
Letter winners were seniors Brittany Auman, Loreal Housler, Abby Meyer, Madelyn O'Leary, and Kathryn Ordiway; and juniors Kristin Dippold, Maria Gismondi, Sophie Herzing, Maura Keyes, Elizabeth Nicklas, Laira Reuscher; Linnea Stager and Abby Wittman. Other members of the squad were seniors Rebecca Gleixner, Danielle Hodgdon, Quirin Riddle, Rachael Rupprecht and Anna Wingard; sophomores Madolyn Foringer, Danielle Healy, Megan McKenna, Marla Scacchitti and Rachel Stauffer; and freshmen Ann Ordiway, Natalie Reichard and Danielle Wolfel. The coaches award was given to junior Laira Reuscher and the MVP award was presented to senior Abby Meyer. The recipient of the Gordon Daghir Memorial Tennis Award was senior Loreal Housler.
Junior high football coach Tom Heary briefly discussed his teams seasons and notable accomplishments. Members of the ninth grade team were Austin Amacher, Jonathan Dippold, Matt Feldbauer, Bryan Hansen, Daniel Singer, Mitchell Smith, Joseph Tamburlin, Kyle Williams, Tom Wolf and Joshua Zelinski. Members of the eighth grade squad are Ross Brennen, Michael Dinsmore, Joshua Eckert, Andy Geci, Nick Gismondi, Landon Holjencin, Kyle Huff, Connor O'Leary, Kyle Schatz, Michael Stager and Noah Werner. The seventh grade team was made up of Joseph Kucenski, Matthew Marconi, Jacob Raffeiner, Doug Schatz, Daniel Stauffer, Jeffrey Wehler and Logan Wonderling.
The final coach to address the attendees was football head coach Travis Skrzypek, who noted that his team's season is not yet over and encouraged everyone to come show their support at the team's opening round game in the District 9 Class A Tournament at Clarion University on Friday evening at 7 p.m. The 8th seeded Crusaders will take on the top seeded Clarion Bobcats.
Addressing his team, Skrzypek remarked, "I'd like to remind our guys that it's easy to start something but it takes courage to finish something. You guys started out this journey and I hope you all show up ready to play Friday night."
Letters were presented to seniors Pat Brennen, Joe Georgino, Cole Gerber, Scott Krellner, Montana Schneider and Cory Williams; juniors Hank Cappiello, Devin Constable, Ben Cortina, Adam Evers, Jason Haberberger, Clayton Housler, Brock McCullough, Joe McLaughlin, Shea Meyer and Mitchell Vallone; and sophomores Ryan Childs and Nick Werner. Other members of the team are seniors Shaun Chiesa and Nick Erich; juniors Wes Brennen, Alex Herzing, Nick Quagliani, Dan Snelick and George Urmann; and sophomores Taylor Feronti, Brady Garner, Andrew Gebauer and Zach Lovett. Because the team's season has not ended, awards will be presented at a later time.
At the conclusion of the program, letter jackets were presented to seniors Jessica Franco, Ryan Jacobs, Kevin Kronenwetter, Sara Kucenski, and Mike Lovenduski; juniors Hank Cappiello, Ben Cortina, Kristin Dippold, Adam Evers, Sophie Herzing and Shea Meyer; and sophomores Michaela Cashmer, Jess Jaynes, Matt Jerko, Adam Lovenduski, Brandon Schlimm and Elliott Struble.